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- Kevin McCarthy promised no stunts would be pulled by fellow Republicans at the State of the Union.
- But before the address, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene walked around Capitol Hill with a white balloon.
- The prop was a reference to GOP criticism over Biden’s handling of a suspected Chinese spy balloon.
Ahead of the State of the Union on Tuesday, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene walked through the halls of Congress with a big white balloon.
The stunt was a reference to Republican criticism about President Joe Biden’s handling of a suspected Chinese spy balloon that was shot down over the Atlantic last week.
“It’s just an innocent balloon …” the Georgia congresswoman tweeted alongside a video of her walking around Capitol Hill with the prop.
—Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene🇺🇸 (@RepMTG) February 7, 2023
But her political stunts did not stop there. During the State of the Union, the Georgia congresswoman and other Republican lawmakers repeatedly interrupted and heckled the president as he was speaking.
At one point, when Biden accused some members of the GOP of wanting to cut Social Security and Medicare benefits, Greene shouted “liar” at the president.
It did not look like Greene brought the balloon with her into the House chamber, where the speech was held.
Her stunts came despite a promise from House Speaker Kevin McCarthy earlier in the day, who said that Republicans would show proper decorum during the address.
“We’re members of Congress. We have a code of ethics of how we should portray ourselves,” McCarthy told CNN’s Manu Raju on Tuesday. “And that’s exactly what we’ll do. But we’re not going to do childish games tearing up a speech.”
McCarthy was referencing the moment during former President Donald Trump’s State of the Union Address in 2020 when former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi famously tore up his speech.
He also appeared to urge calm during Biden’s speech as he repeatedly tried to quiet Greene and other members of his caucus.
At one point in his speech, Greene shouted “China is spying on us!” from the back of the House chamber, prompting McCarthy to shush her as he shook his head.
—JM Rieger (@RiegerReport) February 8, 2023
Greene and McCarthy became unexpected political allies after she helped him through his acrimonious campaign to become House speaker last month.
“If you’re going to be in a fight, you want Marjorie in your foxhole,” McCarthy recently told The New York Times. “When she picks a fight, she’s going to fight until the fight’s over. She reminds me of my friends from high school, that we’re going to stick together all the way through.”